Life Hacks for a Rainy Summer

Life hacks for a rainy summer

Vacation days all gone, heaps of work on the horizon and a forecast of “cloudy with a chance of showers.” Sound familiar? Enjoy our insights on surviving a(nother) soggy British summer.

life hacks for a rainy summer

Although summer is always somewhat anticipated, in our hearts we know not to get too excited. As Londoners, experience has taught us that the so-called sunny season stands for being caught out in the rain without an umbrella, an absurd need to invest in woollen clothing and a longing to escape to a place where clouds have never existed. All this may come as no surprise, but consider the predicament when it turns out that your holiday dates from work have (hypothetically) been wiped out by all the weddings and hen parties you’ve steadily attended throughout the year – meaning that for the entirety of this summer at least, you’re going to be firmly anchored under the rain clouds and/or one of the mythical skeleton staff drifting about the office.

In short, this summer is a conundrum that you need to solve, and fast. Rest assured, you’re not alone: a surprising 42% of British people tend not to travel abroad for the summer according to an OnDevice Research poll. On the contrary, if you’ve always cut and run during the silly season, it’s high time you uncovered the hidden delights that a British summer has to offer. Yes, really. So without much further ado, enjoy these hacks that will see you enjoy a perfect “staycation” – and turn that doubting frown upside down!

Almost alfresco

The singularly biggest obstacle posed by a British summer is not being able to easily go outdoors without suffering a torrential downpour or a wind chill. The summer of 2015 was the coldest and wettest in 3 years for Great Britain, with 272mm of rainfall, according to the Met Office. But meals just taste better when eaten outdoors, don’t they? Savvy London restaurateurs are only too aware of this and have adapted their dining rooms accordingly, beating the unpredictable weather while still offering clients a marvellous sensation of dining alfresco. Enjoy reasonably priced dinners in covered courtyards, greenhouses and by bay windows that are literally overhanging the river. You may also consider idling an afternoon away at a warm and welcoming hotel such as the Chesterfield Mayfair, London. For as little as £23.50 you can enjoy tea, scones, sandwiches and all the trimmings while surrounded by exotic Kentia palms, starched linen tablecloths and powder pink roses.

Conservatory Culture

Should you have a hankering to escape the urban jungle and reconnect with nature, there’s no need to travel to a secluded forest that’s likely to be water-logged: conservatories are the perfect answer for getting a splash of the outdoors life when the outdoors is literally a splash-fest! The Victorians used conservatories for creating exquisite interior worlds: glass houses full of lemons, oranges and tropical species of plants and flowers. And with good reason – not only do these havens of colour and scent stimulate our senses, they transport us to the jungles of South America or the plains of Asia within minutes of our homestead. Browse some of Britain’s nicest conservatories to find the closest marvel to you.

Night-in with a Twist

In the absence of sun, sea and sand, nothing provides a bigger boost to your endorphin levels than getting all your besties over for a night-in. And why hold back? Even on a shoe-string budget you can put together a Vegas-worth party in the comfort of your own front room. Complement the cocktails with a round of blackjack to keep the thrill factor high. In blackjack, each player is pitted against the dealer rather than each other. As the organiser, you’ll want to play the part of the dealer, and that warrants a solid knowledge of the rules of blackjack. Giving your guests the option to split their hand or even surrender will allow for a very realistic casino experience and add more strategy to the game. Then all you’ll need to do is source is a pack of playing cards and something to represent the chips. Toothpicks will do, but if you’re in the mood to get crafty, it’s really easy to make customised betting chips out of Fimo or clay. Add the names or even faces of your friends for an added wow factor.


When staying indoors another day longer is just not an option, a fantastic (and highly unique) option for enjoying the British outdoors in summer is glamping. A portmanteau for “glamourous camping,” glamping is a trend that elevates camping. You may be surprised upon seeing some of Britain’s most luxurious campsites at just how luxurious they are. Gone are the days of the shaky bog-green triangle tent, hello fantasy homes on pegs, replete with spellbinding interiors that will see you wanting to make serious updates to your own home! Most sites are located in the finest corners of the British Isles, meaning that for any burst of fair weather, you can quickly and easily free yourself from the interiors (not that you’d want to!) and delight in walks across the best of the national countryside.

Cheeky Weekend Away

Thankfully, you are in the perfect spot to jet away for a long weekend and get a brief but highly affordable burst of fun in the sun. Some of the cheapest European city breaks are literally within a couple hours’ flight time and guarantee that you won’t feel cheated if you’re are destined to stay put on the home turf for work or other obligations. Though preparing for a break no matter how short can be stressful, keep angst at bay by limiting your packing to a 30-minute job, and only bring the real essentials. The trick is to eliminate the obligation-heavy mentality that we tend to carry around with us all year and only believe we can shed once we are abroad. The truth is that we need not carry it at all, so by taking steps to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, we can ensure that the craving to “get away from it all” simply ceases to be.

So with a little ingenuity and the right outlook, you can easily extract the best and often underrated aspects of a classic British summer and create a season to truly savour. Even if you lack the time, money and access to guaranteed good weather, fun and enjoyment are well within your grasp and need not break the bank, either. Keep in mind the primary objective: to dedicate your time to places, people and activities that leave you feeling relaxed and revived.

The acid test is whether you’re able to start September feeling strong, uplifted and ready to begin the new working year – because then you’ll enjoy the same benefits as if you had spent thousands on a two-week holiday in textbook “paradise.” And as a bonus to mastering the art of the staycation, you can easily integrate these elements of your new lifestyle into your year-round calendar, meaning easier access to relaxing and rejuvenating leisure options and a better life-work balance overall.

By: David Johnson